Riley Littlefield

Like many 16-year old boys, Riley Littlefield is juggling homework, part-time employment, and making time to play baseball.

As busy as he is, Littlefield is sure to make time to participate in the Leon County High School High Tech (HSHT) program provided by Ability1st. HSHT prepares students with disabilities for life after high school through real-world experiences.

Littlefield, who has a learning disability, has participated in the program for two years, and credits HSHT with teaching him the interview skills he needed to get part-time work. “I learned what to wear to an interview and what not to say during an interview.” he explains. He currently works for the city parks department as an umpire for t-ball and baseball and as a referee for flag football and soccer. Littlefield also works part-time at the local golf course, washing carts and driving the ball picker.

Amanda Moulton, Ability1st Leon County HSHT Coordinator, makes sure the kids have fun while they are learning. Recent trips include visiting the Jacksonville Zoo, Wild Adventures Amusement Park, and - Riley’s favorite - the Ropes Course at Florida State University’s Camp Flastacowo.

Among Riley's favorite HSHT real-world experiences are visiting a local bank,

 “The speaker from the bank gave us each a $2 bill,” he said. He also traveled to Fort Lauderdale to compete in the HSHT State Speech Contest. “My topic was How to Convince Floridians to Vote.” When asked about the outcome he explains, “I came in fourth place, I won $70 and got in the Tallahassee newspaper.”
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Ability1st, the Center for Independent Living of North Florida, is a community-based nonprofit organization that provides services to persons with varying disabilities. Ability1st serves Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties.